Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Roadside Raptors

In addition to a number of Roadside Hawks and Swallow-tailed Kites, other fun raptors are along the roads as we drive between reserves.

Harris's Hawk is familiar from back home in southern Arizona. What a large range this hawk has, all the way from the southwestern US to central Argentina and Chile! The South American race is smaller than the two subspecies to the north. Unlike most hawks, Harris's will often hunt cooperatively in groups. This adult and immature were very close to each other, north of Jorupe Reserve.

An adult Harris's Hawk above, and an immature below
(Photos by Narca)

Just north of these Harris's Hawks, we watch a light-morph Short-tailed Hawk at close range, spiraling upward from the ground with a long, slender snake grasped in its talons. The snake is very much alive and fighting, as the Short-tail attempts to subdue it in midair. Lunch can be a dangerous affair!

Later, after we leave Buenaventura Reserve and drop into the lowlands just north of the Peruvian border (and well south of Guayaquil), these two small raptors are by the road.

Pacific Pygmy-Owl

Pacific Pygmy-Owls are the only pygmy-owl living in the lowlands west of the Andes. Their range extends from western Ecuador all the way through coastal Peru to northern Chile.

Pearl Kite male

At about the size of an American Robin, Pearl Kites are the smallest raptor in the Americas, even smaller than Tiny Hawks. Their size overlaps with that of the Little Sparrowhawk –– these are the two smallest raptors in the world.

Pearl Kites also have a large range, occurring in open savannas and tropical woodland from Central America to northern Argentina. This kite eats mainly small lizards, supplemented by a few insects.

No comments:

Post a Comment